Your Essential Guide to Disaster Preparedness for Pets

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Dog in blanket outside: Disaster Preparedness for PetsWhen natural disasters strike you have lots to care for and consider. In addition to making sure your needs are met, it’s important not to forget about your pets too. If a storm, hurricane, tornado or other possible threat is dangerous for you, it’s also unsafe for your pet. If you hunker down, you’ll need to stock up on supplies. And if you evacuate your home, be sure to bring your furry, scaly or other textured pet along with you along with any essentials when so you’re on the run you’re ready to survive. Learn how pet disaster preparedness can save your best friend’s life.

Emergency Preparedness for Pets

Below are some tips for emergency preparedness for dogs, cats, snakes and other animals. This is not a comprehensive list and needs vary on animal, so these are just some guidelines.

  1. The ASPCA suggests food and water for 3-7 days (including a travel can opener and bowls)
  2. Medications and medical records
  3. Pet first aid book
  4. Pet first aid kit
  5. Leashes
  6. Harnesses
  7. Carriers
  8. Flashlight and batteries
  9. Bags to collect pet waste (plastic grocery bags work fine)
  10. Photos and descriptions of each pet in case one gets separated from you
  11. Vet’s contact information
  12. Grooming items (hair brush, nail clippers, shampoo)
  13. Paper towels and disinfectant
  14. Blankets or towels
  15. Pillow cases (to transport snakes – if you have them)

Emergency Items for Cats

If you have a cat, you may also want to include these important products, especially if you plan to escape to a temporary rescue shelter:

  1. Litter 
  2. Litter box 
  3. Litter scoop

Emergency Preparedness Checklist for Pets

When you’re in panic mode you might not always have the clearest head so having a list to reference ensures you won’t let anything slip through the crack! To help you remember what to pack, we put together this handy checklist, complete with photos, so you can quickly and easily remember what to grab in case an emergency arrives. Print this out today (while you have emergency) and put it on your fridge so you know what to pack up if an urgent matter presents itself.

Emergency Preparedness Checklist for Pets Infographic

To embed this infographic on your site, just copy and paste this code:

Helping Pets In Need During Disasters

As we’ve seen from the previous natural disasters (including the devastation in Houston after Hurricane Harvey’s life-threatening flooding and in the Caribbean after Hurricane Irma tore through a handful of islands in the Atlantic before making its way up the U.S. east coast), there tends to be an influx of shelters rescuing abandoned or missing pets. Owners get separated during the storm or have no way to transport or lodge their pets when they evacuate. Luckily there are organizations that step up to help find warm, happy homes for the thousands of dogs, cats and other displaced pets.

If you are in a surrounding area of a natural disaster, consider reaching out to your local shelter to find out ways you can help. In addition to adoption, supplies and volunteer are always needed. There are often other ways to contribute and assist as well. And no matter where you live, you can donate money to assist in the efforts on the ground. There are hundreds of animal rescue organizations and one that has shelters in many areas around the country is The ASPCA. Check on their website to find a shelter near you. And if there’s a favorite animal welfare charity that you support please let us know with a comment below!

National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month and with the abundance of tropical storms during this time, it couldn’t be timelier. June is also National Pet Preparedness Month which raises awareness for how to be prepared when an emergency arises. We at Canine Journal are committed to spreading awareness for how to keep pets safe and out of harm’s way year-round.

ASPCA Mobile App to Help You Prepare

Download ASPCA iOS App

The ASPCA has a mobile app to help you prepare your pets in times of emergency. It will store your pet’s veterinary and vital statistic information so you will have it on the go, provide tips and news on emergency situations that may affect you and your family, and help you find your pet if they go missing. We think this is a must have tool for all pet owners.

What to Include in a Pet First Aid Kit?

Here are some tips from the American Red Cross on where to start with building your pet first aid kit.

If disaster strikes you need to worry about your pets in addition to yourself. Remember that if it’s dangerous for you, it’s also dangerous for your pet. So if you are evacuating your home, be sure to bring your furry, scaly or other textured pet along with you. Pet disaster preparedness can save your best friend’s life.

Pets Are Our Family

Pets are our family members too. They count on us for safety, so it’s up to us to take care of them during disasters. The best way to keep them safe is to prepare ahead of time. That’s why disaster preparedness for pets is so important. Print off the infographic above while you still have electricity and gather the items up into a bag so you’re prepared to look after your pet in an emergency situation. And if your dog does get into harm’s way here’s some useful articles including how to perform CPR on dogs and treating a poisoned pup.

What essential items did we forget in our pet disaster preparedness kit?

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Growing up, Kimberly used to get the sniffles when she was around dogs. Thankfully, she grew out of her allergy and is now able to play and snuggle with dogs as much as she wants! She and her husband adopted Sally, a four-year-old hound mix, in early 2017, and she has brought so much joy into their lives. Life as pet parents has been very rewarding.

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This is super useful as we head into hurricane season in my area I’ll be sure to stock up on these items and share this infographic with my other pet owner friends too!